The Age of Celebrity Worship is Over
Stanley Tucci just made a Negroni that broke the internet. Faces we have seen over and over again, on the big screen (or small ones), on covers and in ads, no longer grace us with their irrelevant presence. Perhaps we should call this epoch ‘The Great Withdrawal’ as we suffer from the night sweats without celebrity gossip. The real heroes are not CGI actors, they are the front line workers, the cashiers, the health care workers, the nurturers and those who maintain the delicate balance between meeting our needs and protecting us from those who would take advantage during these vulnerable times.
It takes a crisis to wake people up. Sometimes the crisis is like boiling the frog. A frog will remain in water if, over a long period of time, one raises the temperature to the boiling point, and unaware of its fate, will be cooked. Whereas if you heat the water right away it attempts to survive. Cancer and climate change are examples of our challenges that are slow cooking our senses. The lack of immediacy without a chime and a notification is perhaps why we don’t take our environmental and health issues seriously.
With this massive public mindset changing in priorities, celebrities are struggling to keep the public eye on them with regurgitated online cheer leading sessions and the same old rhetoric. Even while providing health and positive psychology advice, celebs dance in their massive kitchens or sip wine with the backdrop of their swimming pools and exotic pets. I suppose we might no get through without them so I would like to send a big ‘thank you’ from us pathetic broke-ass normal people.
Sarcasm aside, we have a lot to feel resentful about when the rich tell us how to run our lives particularly when we are waking to the fact that this has been happening for a very long time. I usually think that when someone who has amassed great wealth gives me advice, its in their best interest, not mine. So piss off. Perhaps why Ricky Gervais has had enough of their infantile droning or singing ‘Imagine’ by John Lennon. I’m quite sure that when John wrote the lyrics “Imagine no possessions”, he didn't mean to sing it to people who had lost their jobs.
The fakery of Hollywood and its cultural production techniques have finally lost their luster. Like a Walt Disney script we have been coddled by the illusion called the American dream for some time. Within these last few weeks we have learned to care more about friends and health then we do about who is shagging who in the tabloids. This is a great thing! We have more access to technology than ever before but we can now see how much we miss being with others and this is the start of something wonderful. That human dimension, touch, smell, taste are becoming more valuable than the virtual world we spend much of our lives in, from silver screen to phone screen, we are waking to how satisfying real life can be. Good news for humanity. Bad news for social media. Ironic how this is much like the movie ‘The Matrix’.
Even nature has had a reprieve from stupid human tricks. Tourist and highly trafficked areas where people have come to gawk and deposit money and plastic bottles have seen nature crawl back with life in the human absence. Our grand pause has not only left us with food for thought, the environment is rebounding in different parts of the world thanks to humans giving it a break. By doing so, we are giving ourselves a break. And so, we can finally dust the mirror off and see, perhaps examine, what is important. Health before wealth, people before profit, touch before technology has become my new tagline.
So before we put billionaires back on the pedestal when we go back to ‘normal’ and before re-establish celebrity figures as some sort of alpha archetypal icon to worship, perhaps we should just look in our own neighborhood for a star — or look in the mirror (Black Mirror anyone?) and get involved. Get to know people again. Develop the social skills of the type that utters ‘hello’ or ‘good morning’ with a smile as you walk down the street — just keep your distance — for now.
Let’s not buy into the first proposal they try to sell us to get us back on the walk of stars, maybe not even the second. There are many options going forward as to how we want to live and who we hold as our champions as long as we can have a civil conversation with differences of opinion. One thing is for certain, it will not and cannot be the same unsustainable cultural adoptions, non-thinking and material consumption that Hollywood promotes to get us to believe they are like us or we want to be like them.